Another Kind of Paradise by Trevor Carolan, Ed.

Synopsis: Short Stories from the New Asia-Pacific. Review: Another Kind of Paradise is a collection of stories from Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, Thailand, Viet Nam, Cambodia, and more. My favorite was “Their Son” by Hong Ying from China, which takes expectations about parents and children and totally upends them. It was sad, sweet, funny, and provocative. “Third Meeting” by Mi-na Choi from Korea had a narrator that really grabbed me, even though the story was heartbreaking beyond words. Share on Facebook

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Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth

Synopsis: When a body is uncovered near a memorial site for a dead teen, her former best friend reflects on the events of a decade ago that culminated in tragedy. Review: Cold Light was tremendously depressing. Lola, the narrator was mopey, passive, and largely unappealing. Her best friend Chloe is described as having a charisma that draws people to her, but she just seemed angry and petulant to me. I think that was the point, though, and that I’m just in a place where these…

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A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5)

Synopsis: You really need to read the first 4 books. Review: I have never anticipated a book the way I anticipated A Dance with Dragons, not even Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This will be a spoiler-free review. I plan to listen to the audio book next month and that review will be spoiler-filled. I was thoroughly entertained and satisfied by the book, and loved what happened in the new POV characters, especially Reek. I am impressed by Martin’s manipulative abilities–he is in such…

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Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke

Synopsis: Aliens take over the world with nothing but benevolence and peace, but are the changes they bring ultimately good for the human race? Review: I listened to the audio version of Childhood’s End thanks to a sale on Audible. I was really hooked the whole time, despite Clarke’s detached style. I felt the story held up mostly well, some 60 years after publication. However, Clarke was unable to imagine how radically sexual and gender politics would change in that time, and so the personal…

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The Midwife’s Confession by Diane Chamberlain

Synopsis: After the suicide of their friend, an underground home birth midwife, best friends Tara and Emerson discover a mare’s nest of secrets that threaten the happiness they’ve worked so hard to create. Review: I found no surprises in The Midwife’s Confession, which is a decent but not great read. I found the whole thing a little frustrating, waiting for the characters to catch up with me. But it was nice to see home birth portrayed as a safe and reasonable option, rather than an…

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The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn, Book 2)

Synopsis: Mistborn Vin and her lover the scholar-king fight to carve out a new society in the wake of the end of the thousand year reign of the Lord Ruler, but enemy armies amass on their city, and Vin herself becomes haunted by an ancient prophecy. Review: I honestly don’t know why I like these books so much. Brandon Sanderson is a pretty terrible writer and his characterizations are pretty thin. But I really love what he has created in Vin, a street urchin with…

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The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold

Synopsis: Gifted a belt that allows him to time travel, a man reorders the universe to suit himself. Review: I checked out The Man Who Folded Himself because the Kindle version is only $2.99. I am really glad that I did, because I was totally riveted by this book. The book really exploits the time travel premise to a brain-busting extent, but also maintains a solid emotional core. David Gerrold holds nothing back, and the result is just fascinating. Share on Facebook

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Fool’s Fate by Robin Hobb (The Tawny Man, Book 3)

Synopsis: As Fitz accompanies Prince Dutiful on a quest to lay the head of an ice-encased dragon on the hearthstone of the Narcheska Elliania’s mothershouse, he betrays his dearest friend and brings his own bastard daughter into grave peril. Review: Fool’s Fate is a thoroughly satisfying conclusion not just to the Tawny Man trilogy but to the entire tale begun in the Farseer trilogy and developed in the Liveship Traders. Hobb is after full-bodied resolution and she sure delivers. Everything is wrapped up and no…

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